SWAT team arrests another suspect in Richmond gang rape

Police in Richmond have arrested a seventh person in connection with the brutal gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside Richmond High School's homecoming dance last month.

A SWAT team from the police detective bureau took a 21-year-old man into custody at a home in the northern part of Richmond at about 7 a.m., police Lt. Mark Gagan said.

The man will be interrogated at police headquarters this morning. Gagan did not know whether the suspect had attended the high school. His name has not been released.

Police believe the suspect played an active role in the Oct. 24 attack in a secluded area of the school. A group of as many as 10 people beat and raped the girl for more than two hours while others watched, according to police.

The man is being held on $1.25 million bail, and will face charges of rape in concert, sexual battery and penetration with a foreign object, Gagan said.

“His bail reflects the severity of his crimes and the role we believe he played in this crime,” he said.

Gagan declined to specify whether more arrests are imminent, but said officers are “actively pursuing every lead.”

Police do not yet have lab results from physical evidence collected at the crime scene, Gagan said. That process usually takes several weeks and could provide evidence to support existing arrests, and potentially identify new suspects, he said.

A sixth suspect, Jose Carlos Montano, 18, was arrested Thursday and was charged Monday, Gagan said.

Four other suspects have been charged and were arraigned Thursday. They are San Pablo residents Cody Ray Smith, 15, and Ari Abdallah Morales, 16; Pinole resident Marcelles James Peter, 17; and Richmond resident Manuel Ortega, 19.

The three juveniles have been charged as adults with rape by a foreign object while acting in concert. Morales was also charged with robbery, according to the criminal complaint.

All four are also charged with enhancements that make them eligible for life in prison if convicted.

Another person was arrested but later released after the district attorney's office declined to file charges.

Bay Area Newshigh schoolLocalRichmond

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